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Nigeria loses 23 women daily to cervical cancer – SOGON

  • Launches preventive guidelines to eradicate scourge

Prof. Akinola

ABUJA – The Society for Gynaecology and Obstetrics of Nigeria, SOGON, has revealed that no fewer than 23 Nigerian women die daily as a result of cervical cancer.

To stop the trend, the association has presented preventive guidelines that will help improve well-being of women as well as help eradicate the condition in the country.

President of SOGON, Prof Ireti Akinola, said at public presentation of the guidelines in Abuja on Thursday June 21 saying Nigeria has “been sitting by old graves mourning and wailing too long. The Nigerian woman has been short-changed. We have the world’s highest maternal mortality ratio with about 145 women dying every day, where they are lucky to escape pregnancy related deaths, they are inadvertently railroaded to dying from cancer.

“It has been reported that every 10 minutes, a woman dies from cancer of the cervix in Africa. It is the second commonest female cancer in Nigeria, and the commonest genital tract cancer. A death occurs every two minutes globally from cervical cancer and 80% of these deaths occur in the world’s poorest countries. Globocon reported that 23 women die every day in Nigeria from cervical cancer.

“SOGON, as a professional body is concerned with the state of health of the Nigerian women. We are concerned with her state of total physical, mental and social well-being, he said.

He added: “We therefore engaged ourselves with various projects towards this end such as initiation of maternal and perinatal death surveillance and response and the volunteer obstetrician scheme.

“We have to engage ourselves for 72 hours in yet another project which is drawing up management guidelines.

“We have therefore, converged from all sectors of the country to draw up country specific guidelines for management and prevention of health issues which have constituted a scourge on our women.”

Prof Akinola however identified inadequate radiotherapy for women, absence of organized training programme and inadequate human resources as challenges confronting the process of eradicating cervical cancer in the country.

He therefore, urged government at all levels to improve and strengthen the healthcare system in terms of funding, infrastructure upgrade and training of medical personnel.

Also speaking, the country head of Roche Diagnostic in Nigeria, Dr. Taofik Oloruko-Oba, said it is unacceptable that many women still die in Nigeria from cervical cancer when the condition is preventable, treatable and curable.

He said lack of awareness; resources and low budgetary allocation to the health sector contribute to the country’s high rate of the disease burden.

Dr. Oloruko-Oba urged women in the country to go for regular screening for early detection and prompt treatment of the disease.

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